Two outstanding Aboriginal secondary school graduates in WA have been awarded the prestigious Rob Riley Memorial prize for their top performances in Year 12. Prize winners received $5,000 each to further their education and training.
The 2021 Rob Riley Memorial Prize winners were announced on 30 March 2022 as Comet Bay College graduate, Caleb Langan and Rossmoyne Senior High School graduate, Myka Richards-Matters.
The Rob Riley Memorial Prize is named in honour of the late Aboriginal human rights advocate and recognises the top-performing Year 12 Aboriginal students in public schools.
Caleb Langan, was awarded the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) prize and has goals of becoming a research scientist. He is currently studying at the University of Melbourne, working towards a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Physics.
Caleb attributes his success and motivation to his teachers at Comet Bay College, in particular his deputy principal and growth coach Mr Michael Churchman, who helped him to focus and set goals. He is also thankful for his family and friends for their support and encouragement, as well as Engineering Aid Australia for opening up opportunities for him.
Caleb said he was surprised to have won the prize.“I was really pleased with my results, but I didn’t expect to hear about this at all. It’s still a bit hard to wrap my head around it to be honest,” he said.
Myka Richards-Matters was named the Vocational Education and Training (VET) prize winner. During her time at Rossmoyne Senior High School, Myka achieved three qualifications in sport and recreation, education support and community services. She also logged an impressive 391 hours of workplace learning during her Year 11 and 12 studies.
Myka aspires to be a police officer and was recently accepted into the Aboriginal Police Cadetship program. She said she was surprised and honoured to have won the prize. “It’s such a huge achievement and so exciting,” she said. “I would attribute my success to friends and family around me, they have instilled great values and traits like being hard working and never giving up, which have guided me through school and life.”